Zachary Grice is among Alabama’s most decorated athletes.
The 28-year-old Dothan, Alabama, native plays Miracle League Baseball and also plays the sport in the Alabama State Games, the state’s largest annual multi-sport event for youth and adults. He’s a Special Olympic bowler, cyclist and swimmer, coming away with one gold and two silver medals in cycling in the 2014 national games. Zach clinched another three medals in swimming – one gold and two silver – at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland in 2003.
He helped his team to a silver medal finish at the Special Olympics USA National Unified Bowling Tournament in 2009, and for three of the last four years, he’s taken the top prize in the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Archery Tournament’s therapeutic division.
Zach’s parents, Hope and Keith Grice, couldn’t be more proud of their son, who was born with Down syndrome and later diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 (Zachary is now cancer-free). The Grices turned to Children’s of Alabama for healing and comfort, developing close ties with Zach’s doctors, nurses and other Children’s staff.
“They are old friends now because they did so much for Zach and they’ve got him to where he is now,” Keith Grice said.
The Grices were determined to not let Zach’s condition limit his life. That determination continues to inspire Zach and those around him to achieve their goals. Today, Zach works as a ministry assistant at Grandview Baptist Church in Dothan and leads devotionals at local hospitals, nursing homes and adult daycares. He hunts and hangs out with his best friend and fellow Special Olympian, Brad Cobb. He also enjoys visiting his sister, a student at the University of Alabama, and cheering on his beloved Crimson Tide during football season.